Focus On What You Can Control

Only compare the progress you made today, to what you were able to accomplish yesterday. 

As high school juniors and seniors soon roll into the prime of their recruiting season many student-athletes (and parents) have been known to let their minds run wild with worry. This worry is detrimental, so detrimental that keeps students athletes from really enjoying the  recruiting process.  Instead of the recruiting season being exciting and enjoyed,  why is it often discouraging and debilitating for some?  If we’ve learned one thing about recruiting from the season that Covid infected it is that a lot of recruiting remains yet to be done.

Unfortunately it’s easy to catch the  “comparison syndrome”.  When contracted it leaves behind it a terrible wake of distraction and disappointment.   Athletes know they’ve caught the comparison syndrome when they learn about a teammate, or some dude on social media, getting an offer. Instead of being happy for them, that athlete gets jealous, thinking to themselves, ‘I’m better than him! Where are my offers!?’

Parents, too, are most likely to be infected when they look on social media to discover that another athlete got an offer. The symptoms of the syndrome are also noticeable by the instantaneous response, “my kid is better than that kid!”

Here’s a public service announcement, comparison syndrome is the single most dangerous threat to your recruiting process!  Get sucked in by and and it will surely take you down a rabbit hole that will surely derail your recruiting. 

In recruiting focus on what you can control like you effort, academics and attitude.

Sure, most student-athletes are competitive and want to get recruited. Student-athletes work hard in classroom and in competition because they want offers. So its  natural to desire to one-up the competition.  

But, when the symptoms of comparison syndrome start to surface, preemptive measures are necessary. Immediately, ask yourself a few questions to help  provide some perspective. 

Questions like:

Do I want to go to that school? 

Do I like that team? 

Is that school recruiting players at my position? 

Does that school fit my playing style? 

Do I like that coach or coaching staff? 

Would I want to play for a coach like that?

Does the coaching staff recruit players like me?

Does the team have players similar in size, speed, and strength like me on the roster?

Would I even want to go to college in that state? 

Would I be happy on a camps that size? 

Do I like the weather in that state? Do I really want to to practice or play in the snow, rain or severe heat?

Would I want  to play in that division or conference? 

Would I get playing time at that school? 

Do they have already have upperclassmen on the roster in my position? 

Do I have the grades to get in to that college? 

Would the coach offer me the scholarship money I need to pay for college? (College isn’t free and most scholarship do not cover 100% of tuition)

Would I pass admissions with my college entry exam scores? 

Take time to think through these questions. If you answer them honestly, you will sure avoid comparison syndrome. 

As you can see there are so many variables in recruiting that must be considered. There are also questions that need to be answered. Some unfortunately won’t be answered. 

The key is to focus on the things you can control. Things like your effort, academics, and attitude.

Again, not getting an offer doesn’t mean that an athletes is not a good player, it only means for one reason or another that school isn’t the right fit.

So, with this in mind, keep a clear head and a positive attitude. Ignore the social media posts, and the opinion of the talking heads/pundits. Focus on being better today than what you were yesterday.


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